Life sculpture in clay

Course Dates: 30/04/20 - 14/05/20
Time: 10:00 - 17:00
Location: KS - Keeley Street

Create a figurative clay sculpture from observing a life model. Learn basic anatomy as well as gaining clay modelling techniques. Beginners are welcome on this intensive course.


What is the course about?

This will be an introduction and investigation into the structure and musculature of the human figure using the life model as reference. You will use all this information to create your own sculpture in clay using sculptural modelling techniques. Your clay sculpture will be fired after the course has finished, the department will advise dates for collection.

What will we cover?

• Basic anatomy of the human form
• How to make observational working drawings of the life-model
• Introduction to clay modelling expressing the human form
• How to make an analytical evaluation of your own artwork supported by friendly and supportive feed back
• A brief introduction to the work of contemporary and historical figurative sculptors
• An introduction to the safe use of equipment, materials and procedures and practice in the sculpture studio.

What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...

• Have an understanding of major bones in the skeleton
• Have a basic understanding of muscle groups in the human form
• Make preparatory observational drawings ready for sculpture
• Demonstrate improved clay modelling skills towards finished sculpture
• Work independently & make aesthetic judgements to develop a self-expressed finished artwork
• Work safely with the materials, equipment and procedures of the subject.

What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?

All levels welcome.
You should be able to follow simple written and verbal instructions to support demonstrations, hand-outs and for health and safety information, and will be invited to take part in group discussion. You should be able to use numbers and be able to do simple measurements and calculations.

How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?

There will be group demonstrations and plenty of 1:1 help. There will be the opportunity for small group evaluations and discussion.

Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?

All basic materials are provided. No extra costs.
You should bring a sketchbook/notebook, pencil and camera.
Stout shoes must be worn in the Sculpture studio.
If you would like to buy art materials for your personal use outside of the course, City Lit students receive 10% discount off everything* from Cass Art, the UK's leading art supplies retailer. Your tutor will advise you on what you should buy. You will need to show your enrolment receipt in-store to receive your discount. Visit the Charing Cross shop at 13 Charing Cross Road WC2H 0EP or find your local shop at *Terms and conditions apply, visit

When I've finished, what course can I do next?

The sculpture department offers a programme of courses that will allow you to progress from beginner to advanced as well as learn a range of techniques. For example, we offer a number of courses that concentrate on modelling from the figure: VU963 Sculpt a portrait head in clay VR 789 Figurative Ceramics.
For exciting collaborative courses with the English National Ballet look out for codes VU986 and VU987 while the City Lit Sculpture course VU841 will help you to build an individual sculpture practice and exhibit your work. Please ask your tutor for advice or browse the City Lit website or prospectus for inspiration.

Tutor Biographies
Shelley Wilson Tutor Website

Shelley Wilson is a multi award-winning national: international artist, a member of the Royal Society of Sculptors. Trained: Camberwell College of Art BA Hons Ceramics: Post-Graduate Sculpture Sir John Cass School of Art: Anatomy for the Artist at UCL. She has collaborated with the most eminent members of the scientific world to comment on topical science based & ethical issues, her exhibition Body Politic took the socio-political climate surrounding the General Election in 2010 as subject material in a celebration of the experiences of the 150 MP’s who stepped down at that time. Wilson’s inspiration is the human form, she combines the three disciplines of ceramics, sculpture, & photography. She explores expressive forms of visualization, experimentation, & interaction between materials & subject matter, taking inspiration from the physicality & psychology of the human form. Since 1989, Wilson has taught sculpture, ceramics, & drawing, from adult education - undergraduate including special needs. She has been Lead Artist in sculpture workshops at British Museum & National Gallery, awarded artists residencies schools in the UK & Europe.

Please note: We reserve the right to change our tutors from those advertised. This happens rarely, but if it does, we are unable to refund fees due to this. Our tutors may have different teaching styles; however we guarantee a consistent quality of teaching in all our courses.

Book your place

Course Code: VU210

Thu, day, 30 Apr - 14 May '20

Duration: 3 sessions (over 3 weeks)

Full fee: £229.00
Senior fee: £183.00
Concession: £140.00

Or call to enrol: 020 7831 7831

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Any questions?
or call 020 7492 2700/2703

Please note: we offer a wide variety of financial support to make courses affordable. For more information visit our online Help Center. You can also visit the Information, Advice and Guidance drop-in service, open from 12 – 6.45, Monday to Friday.